This innovative project will redevelop a vacant 9-acre brownfield site into a sustainability campus which includes a biodigester, greenhouse space, community garden with a fresh produce stand and a visitor’s center with classrooms for STEM programs and community activities.
The project involves biotechnology and green energy, urban agriculture, quality employment opportunities for low-income people, fresh food for Food Deserts across Chicago, educational opportunities for youth, and crime reduction. At its core, the project is focused on environmental sustainability and social justice.
SCORE provided federal and IL State NMTC allocation to the Green Era Sustainability Campus to make feasible the remediation of a 9-acre brownfield site and construction of a food and waste processing facility on Chicago’s south side.
The Project combines an innovative model of taking organic waste and processing it into renewable energy and also growing fresh healthy food onsite to help alleviate food insecurity within the Auburn Gresham neighborhood. An estimated 26,000+ pounds of food will be grown and sold to residents through Fresh Moves Mobile Markets, which is estimated to serve and unduplicated 7,000 persons annually–90% of whom are expected to be low income. Further, the Project includes a visitor center, space for local green organizations, and educational space for job readiness training for persons facing barriers to employment as well as educational programming for local high school students to complement school curriculum.